How Does an iPad Work?

By Meg North

The iPad connects to the Apple apps store for additional applications.
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The Apple iPad is a tablet computer, essentially a touch-screen laptop. It was built on the iPhone model, but with an expanded processor, longer battery life and more memory. Also, it does not have any of the iPhone calling capabilities. The iPad can be viewed horizontally or vertically, and the screen changes accordingly. There is no need for an additional computer keyboard or a mouse.

Basic Tutorial

Press the central bottom "Sleep/Wake" button to turn the iPad on. The Home screen appears, so tap with your finger on any of the icons to open the software program. Additional taps on different parts of the screen within a program will result in different functions. You can listen to a song, send an email, view a photo or read an eBook. To type on an iPad, a touch-screen computer keyboard appears so now additional keyboard is necessary. Press the central "Sleep/Wake" button to turn the iPad off.

Operating System

The iPad uses a different operating system than a Mac laptop or desktop computer. The operating system is the iOS 3.2.2. This is actually the same operating system as the iPod touch and the iPhone. The iPad can run its own specific iPad applications as well as iPhone or MacBook applications. This operating system supports Apple products only, not applications or software for Microsoft or Windows.

Touch Screen

The iPad's key feature that separates it from a laptop or desktop computer is its 1024x768 pixel touch screen. The screen is larger than an iPhone and smaller than a MacBook, at 9.7 inches. The screen is LED-backlit so you can see it in dim lighting and you can adjust the screen dimness like on a laptop. To discourage fingerprints and damage, the screen has an oleophobic coating. You can interact with the iPad screen through tapping or sliding your finger.

Wireless Internet

As compared to a MacBook or Mac desktop computer with an Ethernet port or cable port, the iPad accesses the Internet exclusively through its wireless signal. It has a built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 detector that automatically locates Wi-Fi access. You can pair the iPad with Bluetooth devices, including a mouse or keyboard, through its Bluetooth application. The wireless speed is up to 7.2 megabits per second.